Monday, November 26, 2012

Quick Question for Jehovah's Witnesses # 2

1 John 3:9 Everyone who has been born from God does not carry on sin, because His [reproductive] seed remains in such one, and he cannot practice sin, because he has been born from God.

So far what's evident is that one cannot habitually practice sin if he is born of God. The next verse says:

"The children of God and the children of the Devil are evident by this fact: Everyone who does not carry on righteousness does not originate with God, neither does he who does not love his brother."
So verse 10 reiterates the thought that those "born of God" carry on in righteousness and notes that there are "children of God" and "children of the devil." This creates a sobering dilemma for Jehovah's Witnesses because even the Watchtower would have to admit that being born of God means being born again. In the Watchtower Insight book, volume 1, under "incorruption", 1 John 3:9 is given as a reference text for those who are "born again." Yes, being born again (which, again, is synonymous with being "born of God") is 1 John's admonition if one is to carry on in righteousness and hence be a child of Yahweh.

So my question for Jehovah's Witnesses is, given that there are only two options in 1 John 3:10 which are:

1. to be a child of God, born of him, yes, born again essentially or

2. to be a child of the devil

Whose child are you? If you say God's, then you must be born again according to 1 John.

In addition, 1 John 2:29 says:

"Everyone who does what is right has been born of him."

Quick Question for Jehovah's Witnesses

 In Acts chapter 2, people listening to Peter's message about the resurrection and extolling of the Messiah were "cut to the heart" (verse 37) and so Peter told them to "repent and be baptized." Verse 41 says :

"Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day."

In another example in Acts, an Ethiopian eunuch was baptized right after hearing the good news about Yeshua. He said "Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” (Acts 8:26-39)

I've only given these 3,001 examples to make a point. Hopefully that will be sufficient. In light of these, I ask the following:

Since the Watchtower organization makes the lofty claim to be the only place where someone can worship Yahweh while at the same time being absolutely true to the*biblical* model of how this is supposed to be done, how can such an assertion be maintained when in fact their baptism requirements are positively nothing like the bible's at all? Doesn't the Watchtower require insistent indoctrination for a long period of time and a lengthy test before baptism? Where is this model found in scripture? Shouldn't it be found there since the WT claims all their dogmas and practices come straight from the bible? Depending on the individual Jehovah's Witness of course and how zealous that one is in his or her studies, field service, and meeting attendance, isn't approximately a year or more a far cry from (the biblical model of) instant baptism upon sincere belief? If the Watchtower's method of doing things is a far cry from scripture's, which way is right? I'm not suggesting it's wrong to get baptized after studying, believing, and obeying for a long time. I'm only noticing how the Watchtower forbids anything but, which is notably unbiblical.

There's something else worth noting about the Christian baptisms in scripture as well. None of them at all were performed without those who were baptized then becoming members in Christ's body. Is this the Watchtower way? Because it's the bible's. I know which way I'd rather follow. What about you?

A Jehovah's Witness (I'm assuming) commented on this question on youtube and said :

"A huge difference between the 3K&1 ppl that u mentioned having gotten baptized all had the ML & prophets in their minds. By this I mean they knew things. Ppl can't commit themselves to something they don't know can they? Let's not 4get the practice we have for those who leave the truth. How does 1 get baptized a 'JW' then learn the doctrine/s & say 'no I don't agree w/xyz doctrine/s'? Those who persist in rebelling against doctrine will b DF'd. So y not avoid this by making sure ppl know the main things about Jesus & other JW doctrine?"

My answer:

Leave the truth? The truth is not an organization. My message here isn't "get baptized as a JW quickly without their intensive indoctrination." My message is not to get baptized as a JW at all because of this and many other red flags. To avoid that indoctrination altogether. My intent is to point out that 1st century Christians weren't baptized into an organization after being intensely indoctrinated with a publishing corporation's materials. They were baptized into Christ after believing a *simple* gospel and repenting. See the difference? When you say they "knew things", all they knew was that the prophesied Christ had come, died for us, and was raised up to sit at the right hand of Yahweh. They believed and repented and were baptized after only hearing a simple message that spoke to their hearts.

Quick Question for Trinitarians # 3

Question # 3: 

1 Corinthians 15:27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

One simple kindergarten question for the trinitarians: WHO is the "God" who will be "all in all" in verse 28? Is it the same God who Christ will be subjected to? If you say the father alone, then why would this make sense if the One God is a trinity composed of three coequal and consubstantial persons? Why would just one of those three persons instead of the entire triune Godhead be "all in all"? Where's the holy spirit? Yes, is the One God who will be "all in all" in 1 Cor. 15:28 one, two, or three persons? Is Yeshua's God one, two, or three persons? Where did Yeshua say HIS One God is a different God from the One God of Deuteronomy 6:4? (John 20:17, Revelation 3:12)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Quick Question for Trinitarians # 2

 These questions aren't designed to accommodate trinitarian presupposition. They're designed to make a trinitarian reconsider his or her presuppositions with common sense, unqualified, honest, and reasonable usage of plain texts. It isn't that I don't know the typical trinitarian responses to such questions. It is that they don't seem honest, reliable, reasonable, or consistent. So when I ask such questions it is to plant seeds as opposed to gathering trinitarian responses unless those responses are going to help them see that they are abusing scripture. That they are defining God however they like whenever they like instead of just taking the explicit texts to tell them who he is without their added inference when they desire it. In other words, if Yeshua and the apostles says the father is creator, who are you to say the trinity is or to add your own ideas on top of those succint kindergarten revelations? A trinitarian's first instinct will be to run to Hebrews or Colossians chapter 1. I will provide links below the video to other videos which could help one exegete those widely misused passages.

Question # 2:

Acts 4:24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, 4 said by the Holy Spirit,“‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against his Anointed’

Ok, so far would you agree that the God who is being spoken about here is the One who "made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them?" The One who spoke in the Old Testament? Keeping that answer in mind, what do you make of verses 27 and 30 in the same chapter that refer to the "holy servant Jesus" OF this One God who "made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them?" In other words, if the One God who "made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them" and spoke in the OT was a trinity, then wouldn't this mean, according to Acts, that Yeshua is the "holy servant" of the trinity? Yes, if the creator in Genesis is a triune godhead, then how can that One be said to have a "holy servant" named Yeshua when we all know Yeshua is the holy servant of the father and not of the trinity? Malachi 2:10 actually agrees with Acts chapter 4 when it says the God who created was the father. Do you agree with Malachi and Acts? If not them, then how about Yeshua who identified the creator of man and woman as a "he?" Who IS the "he" Yeshua spoke of in Matthew 19:4, the creator Malachi spoke of in 2:10, and the God the apostles prayed to in Acts 4:24 who "made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them?" A triune essence? You know, the one with the "holy servant Jesus?" This milk of the word should prove without a doubt that certain New Testament passages which seem to be talking about a new creation and not the Genesis one, are being widely misused. Unless, of course, Malachi, Yeshua, and the apostles were all simply clueless as to who created man, woman, heaven, and earth. They all propose that the father alone did, while trinitarians propose that the trinity did. I guess none of them had anything that could articulate a trinity in their vocabulary?

Hebrews 1:10-12 exegesis:

Anthony Buzzard on Hebrews 1.10 & the Age to Come, the Kingdom of God

 Colossians 1 exegesis:

Colossians1:15-19 - Jesus: Co-Creator of the New Creation - Dustin Smith and J. Dan Gill

Monday, November 5, 2012

Are you scared of "Crisis of Conscience?"

When recommending Ray Franz's books to Jehovah's
Witnesses, I am most often met with appalling disgust and sentiments like "he has no proof for anything and demonizes Jehovah's organization. No way will I read his books! You hate Jehovah's Witnesses!" I actually, I'm ashamed to admit, used to share these wacky ideas because I was heavily indoctrinated with persuasive and bias Watchtower literature, which somehow causes JW's who heed it to be terrified that any criticisms of the Watchtower are apt to not only be wrong but downright dangerous because they could shipwreck your faith entirely, causing you to lose Jehovah's favor. Yes, a good sign you're in a cult is when the leadership inspires great fear when it comes to examining the opinions of those who question the leadership's claims. When Jehovah's Witnesses respond the way I just noted, I will typically respond this way:

Imagine for a moment that as a Jehovah's Witness you're witnessing to a Mormon. You recommend a book to that Mormon that exposes the truth about Mormonism and all the deceptions in it. However, the Mormon has been told by his leaders not to read any literature that doesn't come from them. That anyone who tells him that Joseph Smith or Mormonism are in any capacity wrong or to be questioned conscientiously is mentally diseased, possibly even demonized. That such persons are only trying to demonize Joseph Smith and Mormonism and shipwreck his faith and relationship with his creator. To avoid those persons with any dissenting information about Mr. Smith or Mormonism like the plague, as if they could destroy him, since that is obviously their goal. And as you, the sincere Jehovah's Witness, also try to hand this Mormon a Watchtower with an article about Mormonism's and Joseph Smith's deceptions, this Mormon says "no way will I read that. I know better. You're just trying to demonize the only true religion and shipwreck my faith. You obviously hate Mormons. Go away."

What would you think about this Mormon and how would you feel? (And I'm not suggesting Mormons would act this's just a fictional illustration intended to make a point.) And would the reason for trying to help this Mormon have been because you hate him or because you care about him and want him to find out the truth?

However it is you would feel and whatever it is you would think, that's kind of how folk like me feel and think when JW's act like the Mormon in my brief illustration.

In reality, who's demonizing who here? And what are they trying to hide? Shouldn't truth be able to stand up glowingly to any scrutiny? The Watchtower unfairly demonizes Ray Franz. The only way you could possibly know if he unfairly demonizes them is if you give him the same shot you've given the Watchtower. If you ever read his books ("Crisis of Conscience" and "In Search of Christian Freedom"), not only will you be glad you did, it may change your life for the better if you care about holy scripture, justice, and truth. Ray Franz was a Christian man who knows everything that happened in the governing body meetings for a time because he was a member! He has proof and documentation for almost all of his claims, sharp and undeniable reasoning, and compassion for Jehovah's Witnesses like only someone who has been one could. I used to literally be scared to even have one of his books in the same neighborhood as me, much less pick one up to read. I am truly ashamed of myself for that. I feared men. No more. I bet you have seen some so-called "apostate" videos or websites where the people were disrespectful and off-putting. Franz is the OPPOSITE of that. If you are willing to examine the sincere truth about the Watchtower, respectfully and irrefutably presented, Ray is the way to go! He didn't harbor all the bitterness and anger and hatred a lot of ex-JW's have even though he probably was more entitled to it than any other ex-JW after all he went through, after how harshly he's been demonized & slandered.
                                                                                                                                                                                             It is those Jehovah's Witnesses online who ARE checking out supposed "apostate" web pages and youtube videos and blogs (etc.) who generally say Franz's books are a no no. Seems a little hypocritical, doncha think? So don't be like the Mormon from my earlier illustration. The bible says to make sure of and examine all things. Ray Franz wasn't critical of the bible or Yahweh. Watchtower literature is not the bible and the governing body are not Yahweh, so you should be able to discern the difference there even though the Watchtower attempts to conflate them all, imprisoning  JW's in the fear that to entertain conscientious criticism of an organization is somehow the same thing as questioning Yahweh himself! Ridiculous. Franz didn't fear men.  Do you?

I really care about and love Jehovah's Witnesses. I mean no harm here just like JW's would mean no harm if they were to witness to a Catholic about the problems within Catholicism's religious institution. As a Jehovah's Witness, you wouldn't do it to "demonize" Catholics because you hate would do it to help them find Christian freedom because you care about them. So why and how could you accuse people like me of hatred and slander when I'm only doing the same things JW's do..trying to reach people with what I consider the good news from the bible while also informing them of certain dangers within religious organizations that don't conform.